Strive Masiyiwa petitions Mnangagwa over Sikhala’s continued arrest

The NewsHawks reports that businessman Strive Masiyiwa and others have written to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, seeking restoration of the law in the case of Job Sikhala, Godfrey Sithole and 14 others from Nyatsime who have been detained for almost 90 days without trial.

The petition was sent to chief secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda by academic Ibbo Mandaza, on behalf of the petitioners.

Some of the petition signatories are Masiyiwa, Arthur Mutambara, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Brian Kagoro, Tatenda Taibu, Thomas Mapfumo, former judges Simplicius Chihambakwe and Ahmed Ebrahim, Simba Makoni, Sophie Mokoena and Peter Ndoro.

Sikhala and Sithole are facing charges of inciting violence. Sikhala has an additional charge of obstructing justice.

Below is the full letter

“We petition Your Excellency to bring to your consideration, a most unusual situation obtaining in the arrest and detention of MPs Honourable Job Sikhala and Honourable Godfrey Sithole, and 14 residents of Nyatsime, Chitungwiza following the violence of 14 June 2022 in Nyatsime.

Our duty to Zimbabwe constrains us from maintaining silence.

The multiple denials of bail these two have endured, multiple times in the Magistrates Court and multiple times in the High Court, makes for an unusual and unprecedented situation. We cannot think of any prosecution in recent times where one has been denied bail for such numerous times, for offences of inciting public violence and obstruction of justice, which Honourable Sikhala is charged with, and inciting public violence, which Honourable Godfrey Sithole is charged with. MPs Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole have now spent 85 days in pre-trial incarceration at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.

When this is juxtaposed to the timely and little-resisted granting of bail to high profile politically exposed persons accused of serious corruption, and they being flight risks, questions about the equal treatment of persons before the courts arise. There appear to be targeted differential treatment of those arrested and detained for charges emanating from political circumstances.”